The Irish Cattle and Sheep farmers Association (ICSA) have spoken out over their concerns over the increased number of high court actions brought forward by private equity firms.
These concerns were voiced by Seamus Sherlock, the ICSA rural development chairman, who said the organisation see this as a huge concern. He said there has been a tenfold increase in the number of cases, which he described as a blitz on those with loans sold off.
“Figures reveal that there has been a tenfold increase in cases initiated in the High Court since the latter part of 2016. This can only be described as a blitz on those whose loans have been sold off.”, said Sherlock.
He continued by saying the organisation hope that any loans involving agricultural assets can be solved by dialogue and on the understanding that they can be worked out together. Sherlock added that the group understand that a high number of the cases involved applications for summary judgements against debtors, where assets belonging to any borrower can then be pursued as a way to clear any outstanding debts.
He said this increased high court activity is creating a climate of fear amongst farmers, adding that the ICSA will continue to help farmers who are in the midst of dealing with private equity firms.
He reaffirmed this commitment to farmers saying, “I would like to reassure these farmers that ICSA will continue to stand with any farmer making a genuine effort to meet his or her commitments.”
He followed up by saying the group will not stand by and watch farmers being treated unfairly, vowing to do all they can to help find a solution.
“We cannot as a farming organisation stand idly by and allow farming families be treated unfairly. ICSA is willing to work with both sides to find reasonable solutions.”, he concluded.